Erasing most of the early gains, the BSE Sensex ended just 84 points up at 17,587.67 today, despite 7-month high growth in factory output and RBI's move to infuse liquidity in the cash-starved financial system.
Banking, auto, capital goods, consumer durables and Metals sectors attracted strong buying.
Gains were largely on account of the Reserve Bank's move late Friday to cut by 75 basis points the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) that would increase liquidity by around Rs 48,000 crore.
Besides, data released today showed that industrial production grew 6.8 per cent in January on the back of high expansion in manufacturing. The growth was sharply higher than the revised 2.5 per cent rise in December.
Experts said that although the numbers indicated that economic recovery may be round the corner, it dimmed hopes that RBI may go for cut in key rates at the monetary policy review on Thursday.
The BSE 30-scrip index, Sensex, opened higher and hovered between 17,772.10 and 17,494.65 before ending at 17,587.67 -- up 84.43 points or 0.48 per cent from Friday.
The NSE 50-share Nifty gained 26 points or 0.49 per cent to 5,359.55.
"The market was range bound and moved merely 50 points for the most part of the day. Despite RBI unexpectedly cutting CRR by 75 basis points and January IIP number that were much ahead of street expectation there was not much excitement in the market," said Rikesh Parikh, VP, Equities Motilal Oswal Securities.
"The reason is heavy news flows in the form of WPI inflation numbers (14th March), Advance tax (15th March) and Budget (16th March). Traders were also cautious on account of factors like slowdown in China growth and Greece's debt crisis," he said.
Most of the Asian markets ended in the red after China reported a big trade deficit for February. Key indices in China, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and Taiwan were down by up to 1.1 per cent. Markets in Hong Kong and Singapore rose marginally.
In Europe, markets in the UK, Germany and France were down by up to 0.54 per cent in early trade.
Major gainers on the Sensed were SBI (3.96 pc), followed by L&T (3.54 pc), RIL (3.02 pc), Jindal Steel (2.69 pc), BHEL (2.32 pc), Bajaj Auto (2.31 pc), Hindalco (2.15 pc), ICICI (1.63 pc), Gail India (1.59 pc), Tata Motors (1.54 pc), Wipro (1.16 pc) and Sun Pharma (1.03 pc).
However, M&M dropped 1.88 pc, Cipla - 1.83 pc, ONGC - 1.71 pc, Infosys - 1.51 pc, TCS - 1.35 pc and HDFC - 1.16 pc.
Among the sectoral indices, BSE-Capital Goods rose by 2.56 pc, followed by Consumer Durables - 1.90 pc, Realty - 1.33 pc, Oil&Gas - 1.24 pc, Bankex - 1.22 pc and Metal - 0.92 per cent.
The market breadth was positive as 1,599 scrips ended with gains, while 1,246 finished with losses.
The total turnover dropped to Rs 3,253.78 crore, from Rs 3,475.67 crore on last Friday.
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.